Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
Puja Guha is the author of two books, an international spy thriller AHRIMAN: THE SPIRIT OF DESTRUCTION and an Indian family drama THE CONFLUENCE. She lives in the Washington DC area where she divides her time between writing, travel, and consulting work on international development programs. Her experiences around the world are a key component of her inspiration and weave their way into each of her stories.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My latest book is a family drama called THE CONFLUENCE. The idea for THE CONFLUENCE came to me during a World Bank mission in Sudan. The setting there is what inspired me. I had many expectations of Khartoum, the capital, all of which were completely contradicted by the city itself, and I found myself imagining a story set there. After that, the pieces fell into place.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I usually set word minimum targets for myself when I’m writing (e.g., 2000 words per day). Without the target, I can lose the discipline that I need to keep my writing moving.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Frederick Forsyth, John Grisham, and Tom Clancy have helped inspire me to write thrillers. THE KITERUNNER is one of my favorite books on any family story.
What are you working on now?
Right now I’m working on a radio play to submit to the BBC Playwriting competition. After submitting it, I’m going get to work on the sequel to AHRIMAN: THE SPIRIT OF DESTRUCTION.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
The best tool that I’ve found is promoting 99 cents sales through targeted mailing lists such as Kindle Nation Daily and Ereader News. The recipients of these newsletters are actively looking for new deals on books, which helps to make putting the book on sale a really effective marketing tactic.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Remember that the most important thing you can do with your time is to write. Don’t give into writer’s block. Set realistic goals for yourself and stick to them. Don’t waste time being hard on yourself, just focus on attending to your goals.
Remember that writer’s block is a construct. Everyone procrastinates. It’s part of human nature. I believe that writer’s block is a form of procrastination. What’s much worse about it is that we as authors have empowered it by calling it writer’s block. We’ve made it excusable. I believe the only way to get past it is to sit down at your computer (or other writing vehicle) and put in the time.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
To be disciplined in anything that you are working on.
What are you reading now?
GIVE AND TAKE by Adam Grant
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
ANNE OF GREEN GABLES
Something random that I haven’t read before